Great Phoenix day trip: Lake Pleasant
As possibly the worst Arizona native in the state, I only just made my first trip out to Lake Pleasant about two weeks ago. Had I known what I was missing, I’d like to think I would have made this more of a priority to take the ridiculously short 45-minute drive up to the lake.
I had heard the dirty little rumor that Lake Pleasant is actually a man-made lake. In my mind, a man-made lake located just out of town to be a grimy puddle in the middle of the desert with cement siding walls just like the duck pond at Chaparral Park in Scottsdale. Though I did see a few ducks paddling across the glassy calm water, it is nothing like my imagined version of a man-made lake. Lake Pleasant is gorgeous, huge, fun, and though I am no lake expert, its impossible to tell that it’s a man-made lake.
I happened to luck out and was invited to take my first trip to the lake aboard a friends’ boat, and talk about a blast! We kicked back all day soaking up the sun, cruising around checking out different coves, taking in the beautiful desert landscape and sipping cold drinks. This was my experience, but there are plenty of other ways to enjoy Lake Pleasant:
- Rent a boat or jet ski – Still get that action experience on the water without putting yourself in massive amounts of debt by purchasing one of these serious toys. Rent a boat or Jet Ski by the hour from one of the boating companies docked along the lake. You’ll have a blast!
- Camp out – Lake Pleasant has plenty of room for all of your different camping needs. Whether you are the pop-a-tent type or a veteran RV owner, there are extremely nice facilities for everyone.
- Go fish! – Though the lake is man-made, it is now a living aquatic environment for 12 different varieties of fish. Cast out and enjoy the day!
- Grab a bite – Drive up in your car, or dock your boat right up to Dillon’s BBQ at Scorpion Bay. This tasty spot is always busy (a good busy) stuffing the bellies of lake-goers. Dillon’s is also equipped with a convenience store to restock your boat supplies with the requisite ice, beer, water and munchies.
- Hike – There are plenty of hiking trails surrounding the lake, but yes the weather is getting pretty warm. Just stay close to the lakeside and hop in the slightly chilly water when things get too unbearable. Talk about a refreshing hike.
Lake Pleasant has tons to offer if you out-doors’ types. When you’re looking to get out of the house this summer but stay relatively close to the Central Phoenix area since gas price are enough to make a grown man cry, consider a trip up to the lake. For more information about everything there is to do at Lake Pleasant, visit the Maricopa County Lake Pleasant Website.